The Rosebuds | Loud Planes Fly Low

The Rosebuds – Loud Planes Fly Low
Merge Records 2011

The Rosebuds are an indie rock/dance/folk band from Raleigh, North Carolina, United States.  However, Wikipedia wants you to know that they are not the original vocal group the Rosebuds who recorded for George Goldner’s Gee Records in the 1950s.

Its current, main, members are:

Ivan Howard (vocals/guitar/ drums/ bass/keyboards/programming) and Kelly Crisp (vocals/keyboard/drums/guitar/accordion).

On their fifth outing Loud Planes Fly Low lingers in a dreamlike state of unabashed pop melancholy with just a tinge of folk infliction. It hangs over the 10 songs that make up this album. That’s not a bad thing. If you’ve read anything about the band you will know Ivan Howard and Kelly Crisp were married and are now divorced but are staying together as a band. Some marriages last for years, some marriages last for a few albums it seems.

(Photo from the Rosebuds Merge Records Bio)

I first heard the track “Limitless Arms” (Track 2) on Riverside’s KUCR. It’s production bathed in a pop dreamlike state of melancholy that I mentioned earlier is what hooked me. While that production value seems to be the “norm” these days (Monogold, The Antlers etc) it does compliment these set of songs.

On Limitless Arms Ivan sings “And I feel I’m reaching out for the last time, but I feel like I am reaching out like a child.” As if he wants to save something (the marriage), or someone, but helpless as one can feel as a child.

Limitless Arms, Come Visit Me, Waiting For You, and Woods are just a few of the key tracks on this album. This is a nice quiet vinyl pressing, purchased for 16 dollars at Mad Platter in Riverside. I highly recommend this album to anyone who is currently enjoying the crop of indie bands that are pushing their way forward in this genre.

You can read more about the Rosebuds from these links: – Official Site – Artist Bio



“Getting” Cecil Taylor

Cecil Taylor – Unit Structures. Originally released in 1966 by Blue Note Records.

My copy: 1984 Japan Toshia EMI Reissue.
Where did I find it? eBay.
Did it cost a lot of money. No.

For the past few years I have been on a “jazz journey.” It feels, however, more like a quest. I don’t quite have a “Harvey Pekar” type of jazz addiction, at least not yet. No, I haven’t found myself trying to steal jazz albums from my local college radio station.  This “quest” however is fueled by a desire to find a certain type of jazz album, a certain jazz sound, that takes me to some place. I am not there yet.

My introduction to Cecil Taylor came in the way of the Smithsonian Collection of Classic Jazz – a 6 LP collection of classic jazz from the 30’s to the the first few years of the 70’s.

I devoted an entire day to listening to my jazz collection “score” that came from Mad Platter records in Riverside, CA for only 26 dollars. Hey, there was a Memorial Day sale that I HAD TO take advantage of.

Working my way through the collection, and through great tracks from the likes of Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong, Fats Weller, Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, Sonny Rollins, Charlie “Charles” Mingus, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, I finally made it to Cecil Taylor.

Cecil Taylor’s “Enter Evening” was the second track on side 11 of the collection. Enter Evening originally appeared on Unit Structures which I will get to in a bit.

“Enter Evening” begins by not making sense. Does that make sense? Enter Evening is quite a complex arrangement. It’s free jazz. By the early 60’s Cecil Taylor began to distance himself from the traditional jazz arrangements into the style of free jazz. Enter Evening and the album that it is from, Unit Structures, is marvelous, chaotic free jazz.

My jazz journey has taken me from the safety and predictability of traditional jazz into free jazz. It’s what I have been craving. Unit Structures and Taylor’s follow-up album, Conquistador!, also from 1966, are great examples of free jazz and how he started to lead the way.  However, a year before him John Coltrane was also experimenting in the free jazz/avant garde jazz realm with his 1965 album Ascension.

I am sure my journey will lead me to that album as well.